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Palma v Galvez

Petitioner filed action for damages against Philippine Heart Center, 2

doctors (Giron and Cruz) alleging they removed her right ovary against
her will and tissues extracted from her during the surgery; although
subsequently found, the label was not in her name.
She subsequently prayed for the inclusion of additional defendants
(nurses of PHC) one of which was private respondent Agudo. Summons
was then issued to them.
RTC process server then submitted his return of summons stated that it
was served upon private respondent thru her husband who received and
signed it because Agudo was out of the country.
Agudos counsel then filed a Notice of Appearance and Motion for
Extension to File Answer and even filed for another extension saying that
the draft was already finished, it just needed to be sent to Agudo for her
verification before the Philippine Consulate in Ireland (prayed for
another 20 days to file Answer)

Subsequently, private respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss saying that

RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over her because she was not properly
served with summons
Since she was temporarily out of the country, service of summons on her
should conform to Sec 16 Rule 14 of ROC
Petioners contention:
The substituted service on her husband was valid and binding on her
In filing 2 motions for extension of time to file answer, Agudo
voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the court
Ruled in favor of Agudo and granted the motion to dismiss. It held that
since Agudo was abroad at the time of the service of summons, she was a
resident who was temporarily out of the country; thus, service of
summons may be made only by publication.

Petitioner directly appealed to SC

(1) W/N there was a valid service of summons on private respondent Agudo?
(2) W/N RTC acquired jurisdiction over private respondent? YES
(1) YES
Considering that Agudo was temporarily out of the country, the summons
and complaint may be validly served upon her through substituted

SC said: A man temporarily out of the country leaves a definite place of resident
or dwelling where is bound to return. He also leaves his affairs to someone who
protects his interests and communicates with him on matters affecting his affairs
or business.
Sec 7 Rule 14: If the defendant cannot be served within a reasonable time,
service may be effected by (a) leaving copies of the summons at defendants
residence with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing
thereinx x x x x

In this case, Agudo was out of the country, the service of summons was
made at her residence with her husband (Afredo), acknowledging the
receipt. Alfredo was presumably of suitable age and discretion who was
residing in that place and was competent to receive the summons on her

(2) YES
When Agudo earlier invoked the jurisdiction of RTC to secure
affirmative relief in her motions for additional time to file answer, she
voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of RTC and is estopped from
asserting otherwise.
We have held that filing of motions seeking affirmative relief such as: to
admit answer, for additional time to file answer, for reconsideration of a
default judgment, and to lift order of default with motion for
reconsideration are considered voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of
the court.